Non-stop flight between Manchester, China launched
The first ever non-stop flight between a British provincial airport and China was launched Monday.
Cathay Pacific started the four-time a week service from Britain's third biggest airport, Manchester, to Hong Kong two years ahead of schedule.
Angus Barclay, Cathay Pacific's European general manager, said the flight "brings opportunities to build strong links between the UK and China from both business and leisure perspectives, boosting Manchester's standing as an international hub."
Previously, direct flights from Britain to China were only available from London.
Airport executives in Manchester have said the new Hong Kong route heralds a great opportunity to help stimulate economic growth in the North West, supporting the development of the 800 million pounds (981 million U.S. dollars) Airport City Manchester, which has a joint venture partner from China and will benefit businesses looking to export or trade with the Asia Pacific region.
With Chinese businesses already based at Airport City, the new route provides a perfect link for more Chinese businesses looking for an entry point in Britain.
It also means Manchester will finally have a new gateway to the Chinese mainland with Cathay Pacific offering more than 20 destinations from Hong Kong.
Cathay Pacific already operate five flights a day from London Heathrow to Hong Kong, with Barclay saying the addition of the Manchester route provides a real opportunity to help stimulate economic growth in the North of England.
Passengers between Manchester and Hong Kong will travel aboard a Boeing 777-300ER extended range aircraft.
Inbound flights will arrive in Manchester from Hong Kong at 0620 GMT, every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Flights will depart from Manchester the same day at 1200 GMT and will arrive in Hong Kong at 0755 local time every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.